How many times has your child said to you, “You are not my friend anymore!” or “I don’t like you!”? Too many times to count? Okay, good… you’re doing something right.
I can tell you that now, being an adult, my mother is one of my greatest friends but I’m 28, not a child. When I became a mother and started to parent a bright, very active mini version of myself, I wanted my daughter to be my best friend. I then realized boundaries needed to be set and my duty was to mother, not be her friend.
Boundaries, you ask? What boundaries? I want my daughter to be able to talk to me about anything and to have open and honest conversations with her, but I also need to be the same person that enforces the rules, teaches her the correct way to act, manners, and to simply be a nice human being.
I am very active on social media and see some parents that want their child to be their best friend, or simply to be the “cool parent”. Many parents may be too exhausted from parenting or working all day, and I totally get it… parenting is hard as hell. It is a 24/7 job and sometimes it’s easier to give in to whatever your kids want so you can save some sanity. Being your child’s friend is easy; being a parent sometime is not.
In friendships, there is no “boss”, but two equals. In a parent/child relationship… that does not work. You cannot let that slip away, because once the parenting has turned into a friendship, you will not get it back because children are so smart… and they will start understanding what they can get away with… and if you’re best friends, you can’t stay mad… right?
None of us want to be the bad guy, the parent that isn’t cool, or to make our kids angry or upset, but it’s going to come with the territory and they will thank us someday when they became parents that we just didn’t sit back, let them do whatever they wanted, and end up in jail, ha ha!
It is so important for me to be a good parent; I am my children’s mother, and I’m the only one they will ever get so I don’t want to screw it up. Parenting is a daily journey; mistakes will be made, but if we learn from those mistakes we will grow.
My wish for my children is that they always know how much I love them, and that with those times that they don’t like me or tells me that I’m not their friend anymore, they will look back down the road and realize I was not the mean mom… I was simply trying to help mold them into amazing little humans.